Putting Out the Welcome Mat

Pollinators are in crisis. Because of that, I’m trying to create a more hospitable habitat for pollinators in my garden. In addition to adding sources of water, I’ve added butterfly host plants and significantly increased the number of native plants. I’ve also tried to add plants—natives and ornamentals—that berry or provide seeds for visiting birds. The biggest pollinator attraction right now seems to be the Clerodendrum trichotomum (Harlequin glorybower).

In searching for resources, I came across the Portland Plant List, which is produced by the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. I thought Random Acts of Gardening readers in the Portland area might find it interesting. You’ll find information on plant communities, e.g., the plants you would find naturally in a hemlock/Douglas fir forest, and specifics on native plants, invasive plants and noxious weeds.

The hemlock forest is one of my favorite ecosystems so I found this tidbit from the publication interesting:

In many places you may find a predominance of Douglas fir trees. These are the fastest–growing of the conifers, and tolerate light shade or full sun. Douglas fir seedlings do not grow well in dense shade. A predominance of Douglas fir generally indicates a past fire or clearcut which created a large opening in the forest.

An abundance of shade–tolerant western hemlock or grand fir indicates the forest canopy has been undisturbed for quite some time. Deciduous trees such as cottonwood or ash often indicate frequent disturbance by flood or inundation.

Let us know what plant is doing the best job of attracting pollinators to your garden.